CLEVELAND (WJW) – 22-year-old Cooper Tulloch’s parents say he loved his family, friends and brotherhood. His loved ones hope the police can find the driver who hit him on a Cleveland freeway and drove on.
Cleveland Police said at around 3:30 a.m. Sunday, several drivers reported seeing a man in the right lane of Interstate 90 heading east, south of the Chester Avenue exit. According to investigators, he was hit by an unidentified vehicle that was leaving the scene.
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“We loved him, we still love him. We will always love him. But we’ve known it for over 24 hours now and it won’t change, nothing will change, ”said Joy Tulloch FOX 8 of the family home in Boca Raton, Florida.
Tulloch graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a degree in finance last May. He also played on the university’s soccer team, as did his brother Hunter, two years older than him. Cooper was a defensive back and wore the number 31.
“He accepted these challenges and did his best. And again a very reliable, popular, humble young man who will be missed by everyone he has touched, ”said Greg Debeljak, head coach of the CWRU.
“He worked really hard no matter what he did. He didn’t want to play second fiddle to anyone, ”said Scott Tulloch, Cooper’s father.
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Cooper Tulloch’s parents said he went home to Florida after graduation but returned to Cleveland for the weekend to visit friends who still shared an off-campus apartment. Investigators are trying to find out what happened in the hours before his body was found. His parents said they believe he visited the downtown casino earlier that evening.
“He just had a really good relationship with his pals and was just looking forward to a weekend with his pals. And he wanted to be home from Cleveland to Boca Raton tonight and that just didn’t work, ”his mother said.
Cooper’s parents said he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Brotherhood and loved movies, especially Star Wars and animated films. He enjoyed watching sports in person and on television, and he really began to take an interest in golf.
“He was really starting to become what I would call a student of the game. He learned the different techniques and went to the driving range and practiced, ”said his father.
“Cooper liked to be good at everything he did. He didn’t want to be second best and would do his best to give it his all, ”said his mother.
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His parents said Cooper was still figuring out the next step in his life before it was tragically abandoned.
“His thoughts were everywhere. He wasn’t one of those kids who knew exactly what he wanted to do after graduation. I think that’s fine … I think too many kids were under pressure today and we definitely tried not to pressure him, ”his mother said.
Scott and Joy Tulloch said that sharing their son’s legacy is therapeutic for them as they deal with her loss and pain.
“He was a great kid,” said his father.
Cleveland police told FOX 8 News Monday night that they had no new leads on the case.
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